Sharanagati

Collected words from talks of Swami Tirtha




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The success of a spiritual community is based on unity. The unity principle is very important. Once in the ancient times it happened that some sadhus met in an ashram. And there was a discussion. It was a very strong, very sadhanic place and the visitors belonged to some other lines, other societies, other missions, so to say. Then the discussion started that: “We are strong. Here in our temple the sadhana is strong.” And the guests started to glorify this very strong practice: “Yes, very nice! It is a very nice way how you serve God.” Then from the other side they said: “But, you know, there are not many people who can do this strict service. There are some weak guys who cannot join us. But fortunately we have some light missions, where we can send these light guys.”

What is your opinion? Paramananda?

Paramananda: I think there is some interesting merciful element in this discussion about these light missions. It seems to me that the sadhus were trying to provoke the attendants to see how brave they are, how humble they are.

Tirtha Maharaj: Hm. Other readings of the story?

Dani: I think that it is pragmatic to accept that different people at some specific moments have different capacity and different level. And this does not mean that someone is more important and more special, but simply in that specific moment he needs not so heavy weight, because he will not be able to carry it.

Yamuna: It is true that “Birds of a feather flock together”, but still there are no two birds with equal feather. So if a bird is just judging who is closer to my feather color and design, it will have to fly alone.

Tirtha Maharaj: When I heard this story I thought that it was too selective. And it shows this egoistic mentality that “We are the best ones! And we don’t need the week ones and the stupid guys and the lazy ones and the kids and the old ones and this and that… We need only the strong guys.” Which in one sense is true! Everybody wants an elite group, right? You want people who want to do something, not who are opposing all the time. But just as in the case of a family you accept the old ones also. It is not like when the grandfather does not produce any fruits anymore then you kick him in the ass. Sometimes Shrila Prabhupada also mentioned this: “Aha, the old guy is good around here, ha? Does not eat, does not sleep too much and still is capable of working?! You like this, ha?” So, we should take care of those, who are not so strong right now, who are sent by God, or who need the help. Of course, show me a person that does not need help.

But do you know the nature of the cranes? The cranes fly together. They cover a big distance. And they fly in a V shape. Someone is flying in the front. And what happens if you fly in the front? You become tired. So you need some support. And all the others at the back make a (croaking) sound and with this sound they give the impulse: “Go, go, go!” This is the way how we fly together! But you know, to cover thousands of miles, flying, is quite a job. And sometimes there are weak ones. Sometimes somebody might be sick. So then what happens? “A sick guy cannot fly with us together; so let’s kick him, because then we can fly better! We shall achieve our goal, irrespective of the sacrifice that we have to make!” No, what do they do? If somebody has to stop, two or three guys stop with him.

Yamuna: Is it real?

Tirtha Maharaj: It is real. Yamuna, I am not telling stories!

Yamuna: I did not know in such details habits of the cranes!

Tirtha Maharaj: But I know. So they stay together, train the guy and help him to regain the power and then they start to fly together again.

Learn from nature! We fly together. Somebody is flying ahead. Give the sound! And our mantra, our sound is a little more elaborate. It is not only (croaking), it’s called: “Hare Krishna!” So if you vibrate this sound, the whole group will fly together very nicely.



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